We’ve all been there: you slowly enter consciousness after a heavy night out, little by little remembering exactly what happened to get you in this state. You open your eyes, tucked safely in bed sheets that smell slightly of stale vodka. It makes you gag. The room is a blur and the ceiling won’t stop spinning. This is it. There’s no coming back from here. But if you have the energy to reach over and flick the speakers on, these little gems will help you power through the battle that is the hangover.
S. Carey – All We Grow
30 August 2010, Jagjaguwar
The contrast of tapping piano chords on ‘We Fell’ with Carey’s sustained, high pitched Bon Iver-esque vocals is met with a short and perfect harmony that grows to a richer sound. Play quietly so not to overwhelm any potential headaches. The interesting percussion rhythms and vocal weaving on ‘In The Dirt’ make for an ethereal listen that’s not too difficult to pay attention to. The title track begs to be heard with layered, haunting vocals, audible breaths and even a bass clarinet that produce an intense life. An album of growth, it has the ability to make you feel on the road to recovery.
Little People – Csay Csay
3 March 2015, Bandcamp
Little People is the project of London-based electronica producer Laurent Clerc. The repetitive down tempo beats of Csay Csay, his second release (an EP containing three songs), are interrupted by bleeps and “snippets of other people’s music”. He has created an atmospheric world of sleep coalesced with an echo of the night before. Weirdly, this mix of genres and styles gel together and instead of the expected make-you-feel-sick-with-confusing-tempos, actually straightens your mind into a bizarre clarity.
The XX – XX
14 August 2009, XL
This album is a must for hangovers and sick days. The opening soft guitar twangs combined with calm synths make you feel immediately at home and relaxed, and yet are not too imposing to still let you drift off to sleep. We’re then met by the intensely laid-back VCR – 2009’s answer to Netflix and Chill. The almost whispered mellow vocals of Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim will make you forget your pounding headache and swirling thoughts by transporting you to a world of lullaby xylophone melodies. Expect more familiar melodies on ‘Islands’ and ‘Heart Skips a Beat’, and echoes of beautiful vocals of ‘Shelter’ on the synth-heavy, vibey ‘Fantasy’. My particular favourite (featuring a haunting bassline that gets you right in the feels), ‘Night Time’, followed by Stars is perfect for when you still can’t really face direct sunlight, but are beginning to feel a bit more like you.
Play XX in full. Then repeat. If necessary, repeat again. Then again until you feel ready to depart from the cavernous depths of bed.